Tuesday, June 01, 2004

The Greatest Generation

Watching the dedication of the WWII Memorial this weekend was an amazing experience. For all the talk of our current troubles in Iraq (more on that later), reflecting on all this nation endured in the struggle against Nazism and Japanese militarism definitely provided some perspective. While the 800 US fatalities suffered in Iraq are indeed to be mourned, as Max Boot has noted in the Los Angeles Times, we suffered three times as many deaths in a matter of hours on D-Day than we have in 14 months in Iraq. Also, seeing President Bush speaking warmly with both his father and with Bill Clinton provided a welcome scene of bipartisan unity that has sadly been all too lacking of late.

What most affected me, however, was the sense of sadness that so many of the Greatest Generation were not alive to see this long overdue tribute to their valor. Of the 16 million who served during WWII, only four million are still with us. I feel this sadness so intensely because my father is among those WWII veterans who did not live to see this day. So let me dedicate this post to PFC Charles B. Durant, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, 1944-45, who risked his life to liberate the Filipino people from the rapacious barbarism of the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere. God bless you Dad.


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